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APP DEVELOPMENT | 31 August 2016

Will Your Site Pass The Mobile Friendly Test Factors?

Google’s mobile-friendly test might seem easy to pass, but you’d be surprised to find out that there are many who fail it, for common and simple reasons. Check out what you might have overlooked in your quest to be back on top of the search engine results.

Sometime last year, Google announced that they are adding a “mobile-friendly” label to search results. They are also going to prioritize websites that get flying colors in their mobile-friendly test. If you feel that you’ve made what seemed to be necessary adjustments to your site but still failed to get a passing grade, there may be other things that you need to look at. There are some simple mobile-friendly factors that you might have overlooked in your efforts to pass the test. Here are a few of them:

How to pass the Google mobile friendly test

You have been blocking JS Resources or CSS
This is a pretty common mistake, but one that really makes you feel the burn once you realize it. Despite spending so much time creating a beautiful and responsive site, you wonder why nothing happens after Google crawls it. This is because it is probably seeing those ugly black squares that indicate CSS or JavaScript Resource blocking. In fact, Google itself announced that blocking them from their bots already counts as a strike in their webmaster guidelines – hence the negative effect on both your ranking and indexation.

Your site’s font size is practically microscopic
There’s nothing more irritating than having to squint at an already small screen to be able to read something in a ridiculously small font size. Fortunately, a remedy is quite simple in the form of following a base font size of 16 CSS pixels, which is then resized according to the font’s specific properties.

Your buttons are too close to each other

Google scrutinizes everything, including how close links are to each other. Because fingers are clumsier compared to mouse pointers, size, and proximity of your links are measures used by Google to determine your site’s mobile-friendly factor. Important buttons need to be 7 x 7 mm in dimensions (exactly 48 CSS pixels). Less important links can be much smaller, but space it with 5mm in between.

Check whether every page on your site passes the responsive mobile test

Did you know that Google’s badge on mobile-friendliness is done on a page to page basis? Even if your homepage looks like it is optimized to the hilt, you won’t get that much-coveted badge if every other page that follows is not equally optimized. The next time you work on giving your mobile page a makeover, make sure every single page on your site is given the royal treatment. Even those seldom-visited links or pages just might be the reason why you are not getting the check marks you’ve been expecting.

Your site content is a lot wider than the device screen

This is usually common in websites that do not exactly prioritize mobile viewing (as they are best viewed in desktops), but it sure is a consideration worth looking into. The simple test is that you do not have to make sideways scrolls in order to view the page. It might seem simple, but you’d be surprised to find out that so many websites failed because they were not able to make proper use of viewport meta tags.

web speed optimization
If you’ve been having issues with the Google mobile test, then follow these five steps and you’ll have the green tick in no time. If it’s still not working, you might want to check out our guide to web speed optimization. If you’re really serious about having only the best in terms of web speed, you want to consider writing AMP pages for your sites.

Originally written August 31, 2016. Last updated September 2nd, 2020

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Written by Brian Hill

Brian is an avid follower of online industries, with a special focus on retail platforms. He believes that E-Commerce will one day surpass brick and mortar stores in the modern world.

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